March 08, 2015
There's this idea that's been stirring around in my head for quite a while, and I've found that the only way to get this kind of thing out of my head is to write it down and post it. So you get to suffer along with me.
This is major league aluminum-foil-hat territory, and I don't know if there's anything real about it.
It's inspired by a couple of things. First, there's this comment and then this comment at Metafilter from last year, which are about the fact that Marxist revolution doesn't really start with the Proletariat. "Revolution is a sport of the Bourgeois", who rise up because they're comfortable and fear losing the things they already have.
Second is this at Instapundit today, though it's typical of something that's been going on for a long time:
And don't forget the self-described "bacon-eating vegan” who was left shocked and tearful upon discovering that her degrees in "social justice studies” and "gender studies” have zero value in the job market. "My degrees mean NOTHING,” tweeted she. "I don't even know how to process the reality that is my life now.”
To those of us who studied engineering in college, the first reaction is, "Well DUH!"
But I think there's deeper meaning here. So put on your aluminum foil hat, and let's plumb the depths. Suppose you are a dedicated Socialist Progressive and have finally realized that you're not going to get the American Proletariat to rise in revolution (in part because there isn't one any more) and realized that your true fodder for revolution must be disaffected bourgeois, particularly the young.
You're in a university (of course; only those with sinecures can really take Marxism Progressivism seriously). You're playing a long march game and trying to lay the ground work for an eventual revolution in order to establish the Utopia that the sainted Marx predicted. One way you prepare is to use the educational system, especially at the college level, to teach your students to hate America and everything it stands for. (Actually, to hate Western Civilization and everything it stands for.)
But that doesn't tend to stick. Students graduate suitably indoctrinated but as they move out into the real world, get real jobs, and work for a living, and get exposed to other ideas, the indoctrination tends to wear off. (Which is why most Progressives are young.)
The solution: Grievance Studies. This is a special body of students who spend their college years learning how to find something to hate in everything they see, to look for the dark lining in every silver cloud, and learning how to make a stink about it. And... you saddle them with mountainous debts that they cannot discharge through bankruptcy and have no hope of ever repaying, especially since they graduate with no marketable skills and thus cannot find any kind of reasonable job.
These people are already indoctrinated to hate the system, and once out in the real world they have no stake in the system and no hope of getting the better life they were always told they would get with a college degree. Their future is one of grinding poverty with no escape, little better than slaves. They don't have a specific owner, but they're effectively owned by the system as a whole.
They feel like victims, and they are victims, but they've been taught to blame the wrong things and to look for solutions in the wrong places.
As you produce an entire generation of young people like this who have sold themselves into bondage because they didn't know any better, you now have a substantial population of people who might well truly be willing to engage in Marxist revolution, because the existing system has nothing for them and never will have.
Workers NEETs of the world, rise up! You have nothing to lose but your chains college loans!
I've been worried about the titanic levels of debt that young people are taking on in order to go to college, because in a lot of ways it represents a long term threat to the entire system. It's an economic bubble, for one thing, just like the housing bubble. You can pass laws that say that college debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcy (and they have) but that doesn't mean those loans will invariably be repaid. Some will; some will not. If a person cannot pay off their debt, then the debt will default when they die even if not sooner.
But it also worries me because it creates an entire generation of people in this country who feel (rightly) that they've been completely fucked over. That grievance, especially in people who have been taught what to do about it in a Grievance Studies department, could actually boil over into revolution -- and that scares the hell out of me.
UPDATE: Following this idea further down the rabbit hole, there's this thought:
It's no accident that the most important thing American students study in grade school and high school about American history is slavery.
One place I worked, my group secretary was a young black woman who was born in Jamaica. Her family moved to Los Angeles before she was school age, and she went to grade school in LA. I was talking to her one time and the subject of slavery came up, and it eventually became apparent that she didn't realize that she was descended from freed slaves. She thought that slavery only happened in the US. She never thought about why people of African ancestry were so common in Jamaica, and Brazil, and Puerto Rico, and so on.
The most important thing that American grade school students learn these days about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson is that they owned slaves.
Slave owners are all irredeemable scum. No redeeming features whatever. So since such a large percentage of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, obviously the nation is not worthy of respect. (Especially after what it did to all the natives who already lived here when the Europeans arrived.)
They're also taught that slaves are innocent victims and the descendants of slaves are innocent victims, and that victims (all victims) are entitled to recompense. Their problems (which are often manifold) are always someone else's fault, never their own, and any solutions must come from someone else. They are not responsible for their plight and cannot do anything about it except scream and yell and demand reparations.
Which sets up their mindset perfectly for their own descent, eventually, into effective slavery. "Perfectly", that is, to make them desperate, sullen, and helpless to do anything practical about it.
FWIW, the younger people I work with are predisposed to progressivism (Yay university education!), but I find they are willing to listen to my crazy ideas after I've reminded them of this situation they are in ... but these are engineers, not grievance study majors, for whom there may be no wake-up call...
Posted by: Chipotle at March 08, 2015 05:12 PM (MNGL3)
Personally, I think the young grievance graduates will be like the young Red Guards of the PRC's Cultural Revolution. They will be used by the Progressive leaders to destroy (Or try to destroy.) their enemies as well as any and everything the leaders want to target. Then they will be crushed by the military forces of the state on orders of the leaders these young ones followed, once their usefulness comes to an end, and the leaders realize that mobs do not disband on order.
As a side-note, I was always amused during the Occupy insanity, of how Occupy members and sympathizers were calling from another French Revolution, like going after the rich and powerful. I would remind them the historical fate of the French revolutionaries - crushed by the army lead by leaders who were far more ruthless, ambitious, and much, much smarter than the revolutionaries ever were.
Posted by: cxt217 at March 08, 2015 05:34 PM (Y2TS+)
I think the total debt was recently reported as being a trillion and a quarter -- which is scandalous. These students are being robbed blind, and not even at gunpoint.
"Here, sign up for all these loans and give all the money to us!" That's what the universities say, and the students, not knowing any better, do it.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 08, 2015 06:02 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Ben at March 08, 2015 06:26 PM (DRaH+)
But that doesn't work when the opposition has guns! Even if your own brownshirts are armed, they're not in the game to fight a war, especially not when they're the ones that the law lands on afterward. They see the chance of running into a bullet in advance and don't show up in the first place. (Take the kind of anarchist violent protests that happen occasionally in the northern cities - they simply don't happen in Dallas or Houston or Austin. Not because the leftists aren't as loony there, but because it's hard to say "okay, let's go smash up some cars in the name of freedom!" when the smashers have a pretty good chance of running into a car owner with a shotgun.)
This is why the Second Amendment is relevant even today. Yeah, I'm not gonna take my ol' MN out and hold off the First Cavalry's tanks. But against a mob who thinks that because they're a mob, the police can't touch them and they can wreck and steal anything in their path? Against that lot it's plenty. (Honestly it's not really - rifles aren't the tool of choice for short-ranged encounters - but it's better than a 2x4 or a lead pipe.)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 08, 2015 07:21 PM (a38fD)
Firstly, the Feds that come to wreck and kill are often vulnerable at the march and staging. They are not real army. In many cases their esprit du corps is matching their banditry. That is why when they came to do Waco to Bandy a couple of years ago, their footsoldiers chose not to engage volunteers that came to protect Bundy. As a result, Bundy was not ran over by a MRAP as the Fed cheerleaders hoped.
Secondly, if you have the guns, you can do the usual guerillia thing by peeling the onion. That is why ISIS parades around in M1 Abrams tanks now and Russian rebels ride in T-62 Bulats (fueled by the diesel fuel supplied by Putin, no doubt, but nonetheless, it is what it is).
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 08, 2015 07:34 PM (RqRa5)
What they've been doing so far is to act as "Social Justice Warriors" online. They're not trying for armed revolution (yet?) so much as they're trying to enforce their cultural norms through sheer volume, taking advantage of the kibitzer veto.
Think about that scientist who happened to be wearing that shirt. Instead of being congratulated, the SJW's shamed him. And he eventually apologized publicly, in tears.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 08, 2015 07:41 PM (+rSRq)
The proper term is "Cultural Marxism". It's the main aspect of Marxism that could survive inside another country that rejected the economic aspects. There's a number of offshoots, and it is, itself, part of a bigger picture. (Marxism is better thought of as a violent religious branch to the development of a Post-Christian Religion within Europe in the 1800s. Socialism, Progressivism, Nazism, Communism and Fascism are all branches of the same thinking.) It seeks to destroy all that is good and replace it with a world of its own creation.
However, the main downfall that Progressivism has is that it's a mash up of late 1800s Christianity and Marxism. This is why they seem like Straw-man versions of Puritans at times. It's because they believe things that are fundamentally opposed to each other, so they lash out. It's a classic case of projection.
But they are actually in the process of losing their grip on the good chunks of the culture. That's a lot of the move to the SJW attacks within the Internet and other places. The backlash to what they've done to education has been to create an incredibly cynical generation, and it's getting worse. They're still well-indoctrinated in Leftism, but it's not unable to be overcome. Our capitalist system still readily overcomes a lot of it.
The issue is the flip side of the economy. That's the Upper Level that's easily missed. There are the classic "The Powers That Be", but there's a problem: they aren't as bright as they used to be. And they are in outright War among themselves.
It started in October 2008. Then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen pulled all of the Major Bank heads into a meeting and forced TARP money on them. This started a War that had long been brewing: the name of the Economic Game was to capture your regulators. And now all of the regulators, in all of the Major Economies are captured.
That capture means everything is done to prevent corrections within economies. Companies that should have died are saved and the only way to accomplish that: More Debt. And to borrow from Proverbs, "The borrower is the slave of the lender". That's what the Students are expected to be. "Debt Slaves" is getting to be a more common term. And there is a lot of Leftist students that are finding that out the hard way.
The problem we run into, from our position, is that we only see the effect of what's going on. The Students and the Colleges aren't the vanguard, they're the rearguard & puppets. They're just too dim to understand this. They don't realize they're just as dependent as the drug-addicted homeless guy that somehow still costs the government $3000 per month in "entitlements".
Colleges are in a massive bubble. Stocks are in a massive bubble. Housing is still in a bubble. Car Loans are in a massive bubble. The corrections will come swiftly and the carnage will be a lot worse than 2008. But, it gets better! We'll be the last ones to get hit, as everyone else is in far worse trouble.
So the students and the middle class won't rise up. The Progressives can't forever avoid the blame of causing the problem in the first place. It really only takes 1 politician to rise to the top in a few years, as the current crop of High School students hit their 30s, to change everything. Let's just hope & work for that day not being a repeat of Europe in the 1930s.
I especially don't look forward to the day when people realize how actually fragile the Power Structures of the USA truly are. You really don't need to kill too many people to cause long-standing damage. It's not the amount of bullets; it's where you place them.
Posted by: sqa at March 08, 2015 09:20 PM (Cgou3)
Because being an astrophysicist means working for the state or not working at all, and from what I heard he has two teenage daughters to support and eventually put through college.
That sums up the current Vanguard of the X-Chromosome so very nicely, don't you think?
Posted by: pgfraering at March 09, 2015 05:15 AM (Bvpt6)
- Students who gave up the hope of going to those schools because they were too smart to fall into that trap will realize the revolution does not speak for them (unlikely - see legal immigrants and the non story about them getting screwed)
- The loans do not get forgiven and the students (somewhat understandably) rebel against the institutions that taught them the "trade". (because it can't be the students fault!!) Again, I doubt it, since those schools are full of smart professors who will be verbally siding with the students, so they stay alive and leading the "cause".
The end result? No idea, but it will not look good for this, by then, retired guy. Time to go on SS disability, I guess. Diabetic neuropathy. I wonder if that qualifies? It got me the handicap parking card.
Posted by: topmaker at March 09, 2015 07:01 PM (2yZsg)
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at March 10, 2015 01:51 AM (ohzj1)
I thought about sending it to Ace instead of posting it here, but it's just a hassle and I don't care that much.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 17, 2015 07:16 PM (+rSRq)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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